Dana Carpender

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Dana Carpender (born October 18, 1958) is an American food writer, best known for writing about low carbohydrate dieting. Carpender lives with her husband in Bloomington, Indiana. She is also the great-niece of Arthur S. Carpender.[1]


Carpender was for a time a columnist, syndicated by United Media. Her column originally focused solely on low carbohydrate cooking, and was called Low Carb For Life, but broadened perspective to healthy cooking in general, and the title was changed to Cook Well, Eat Well. The column, however, continued to concern itself with glycemic load, which does, indeed, require a careful eye on quality and quantity of carbohydrates. The column was discontinued in 2008.

Carpender began her career as a self-published author. She and her husband invested $3000 to print 1000 copies of How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds.[citation needed] They sold the book by mail, through Amazon.com, and through online low carb specialty merchants like CarbSmart.com. Carpender also started a free ezine called Lowcarbezine!, which helped her draw an audience. They sold 13,000 copies of the self-published edition of How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds, going through several printings.

This attracted the attention of Fair Winds Press, and they tapped Carpender to write 500 Low-Carb Recipes and subsequent books. They also bought a revised, expanded edition of How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds. United Media, wanting someone to write a low carbohydrate-focused cooking column in 2003, approached Fair Winds to invite Carpender to write for them.

In 2009, Carpender started writing a column called Ask Dana Carpender @ CarbSmart.com for CarbSmart Magazine, the low carb magazine of CarbSmart.com. Her weekly articles included her commentary on current topical issues in the low carb world as well as updated versions of some of her classic articles. In 2010, she became the Editor of CarbSmart Magazine. Though CarbSmart Magazine has since stopped publication, Carpender continues to write books for CarbSmart.

In 2014, Carpender became involved with HEAL Diabetes & Medical Weight Loss Clinics, a start-up business aiming to bring medically supervised treatment to people with diabetes, prediabetes, and metabolic syndrome. HEAL (Healthier Eating And Living) relies on the medical expertise of Eric Westman, MD, who has spent over a decade doing clinical research into the treatment of diabetes with carbohydrate restriction, and Jacqueline Eberstein, RN, who supervised the treatment of thousands of people with diabetes in her 30 years as Director of Medical Education at the Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine. Carpender is active as a Food and Lifestyle Advisor to HEAL, and has authored a book, due out in March 2016, called "The Low Carb Diabetes Solution" which will be the official cookbook of HEAL Diabetes & Medical Weight Loss Clinics.

For a time, Carpender recorded a podcast called Dana's Low Carb For Life!, but discontinued it due to time constraints. She is active in the Facebook Low Carb Community, and has a fan page called Dana Carpender's Hold the Toast Press.


She is the author of numerous books. Through Fair Winds Press:

  • How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds
  • 500 Low-Carb Recipes
  • 15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes, later rereleased with 50% new content as 300 15 Minute Low Carb Recipes.
  • The Low Carb Barbecue Book
  • 500 More Low-Carb Recipes
  • 200 Low-Carb Slow Cooker Recipes, later rereleased with 50% new content as 300 Low Carb Slow Cooker Recipes.
  • Low-Carb Smoothies
  • The Every Calorie Counts Cookbook.
  • 500 Paleo Recipes
  • 200 Low-Carb, High-Fat Recipes
  • Paleo Primal in 5 Ingredients or Less
  • The Insulin Resistance Solution, co-authored with Rob Thompson, MD
  • A compilation of recipes from existing books was issued under the title 1001 Low-Carb Recipes
  • She also has a carb counter book and a diet-tracker book.

There are also numerous short compilations of Carpender's recipes available in Kindle editions, including

  • The Best Paleo Dessert Recipes
  • 17 Tomato Recipes For Easy Family Meals
  • 24 Lemon Recipes for Easy Family Meals
  • The Best Recipes For Paleo Appetizers, Snacks, and Party Foods
  • The Best Paleo Breakfast Recipes
  • The Best Paleo Entree Recipes
  • The Best Recipes For Paleo Salads and Side Dishes

Some of Carpender's books through Fair Winds have been translated into other languages, including French editions of 15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes and 200 Low-Carb Slow Cooker Recipes, and a German edition of 500 Paleo Recipes.

According to Fair Winds, Carpender's books through them have sold over a million copies total.

Through McGraw-Hill, she has coauthored two books with Rob Thompson, MD

  • The Glycemic Load Diet Cookbook
  • The Low Starch Diabetes Solution", later retitled "The Glycemic Load Diabetes Solution.

Through CarbSmart Press, Carpender has co-authored three books:


Carpender's name has been misspelled in many library catalogs as "Carpenter".

For many years, Carpender was a prominent member of a social Usenet newsgroup called alt.fan.cecil-adams


  1. "Dana Carpender | Low Carb Mag". lowcarbmag.com. Retrieved 2018-01-17.

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